Archive for March, 2012

Eight years ago, Arsenal fans celebrate their historical league title. Winning the title is always special, but the 2003/2004 season’s victory was the most special. It was because they won it without any single defeat thus they earned “The Invincible Arsenal” title. Although they missed other trophies such as Champions League, FA Cup, and Carling Cup, winning the EPL title without zero defeat is the memorable feat. A year after, Arsenal won FA Cup, but sadly it was the last trophy they have won until now. Up until now, Arsenal has been enduring the dark age of trophyless era for 7 consecutive years. Just too long for a club with great history like Arsenal. Every player of The Invicibles has departed. The memory of the most feared team has long gone. No more threat as contender in any competition. The Invicibles had vanished, leaving no mark at all. But actually they left the legacies which still affects football world until now. Just like the fashion world has trend setter, football has it too. And, the trend setter is always the reigning team. Now, what have the Invincibles left for us ?

1. Inverted Winger

For those who is unfamiliar with this term, inverted winger is the strategy which puts the player on the opposite side with his dominant foot. The example was Messi, Robben, Ribery, and Malouda. Robben’s strong foot is his left yet Van Gaal put him on the right side of the pitch. The player will cut inside and it brings many adventages. First, the player is more comfortable to shoot. Second, he will drag his marker inside and open the space for the fullback. Third, the player forces the defender to challenge him with his weaker foot. The left back usually is left footed and if he deals with inverted winger, he must thwart the attack with his right foot. This is only the introduction of inverted winger, but I will save the topic for another day.

The concept of inverted winger has existed since long long time ago in 1950s-1960s. The attackers drift inside and then drag the side back, giving his fullback plenty of room and time. But, it was never been a tactic. It was just a spontaneous move and it had never been popular. Then, came along Thierry Henry. Henry is right footed, but he preferred to play on left flank. With Ashley Cole in his support, they rampaged the defence like the hot knife slices through butter. To let Henry keep running is an obvious suicide, but marking him means the left full back (Ashley Cole) completely free. Actually, stopping Henry’s run alone was already the difficult task. Marked him tight and he will outpace you. Gave him a little space to anticipate the dribble and he would just shoot his trademark curling shoot to top left corner of the goal. And now the task seemed to be imposibble with Ashley Cole bombed forward to provide the width and the cross. It is highly arguable, but I believe Henry is the inventor of inverted winger. It was not spontaneous move anymore, it was already planned even before the match started.

Little sidenote here. Wenger certainly didn’t think about the inverted winger concept from the very first place, but it became the main tactic in some accidental manner. Back then, Wenger always told the forwards to run diagonally. When Henry was paired up with Wiltord, Henry was always on the left side and they would run to the opposite side, much to opponent’s bewilderment. And Wenger was so lucky to have Cole as the left back which fulfilled all the requirements to be the part of inverted winger scheme. He loved bombing forward, fast, energetic, could cross the ball well, and could return in defensive position as soon as possible. When Henry’s diagonal run matched up with Cole timing, Wenger realized the destructive potency of the play. Then, the combination of Henry-Cole became the trademark of Arsenal offensive move and it became popular with Messi-Alves, Robben-Lahm, and Malouda-Cole (again) following the lead.

2. Fluid Positioning

Before Arsenal became the king of England football, Manchester United dominated the scene and 1998/99 season was the highest peak in their history. The Red Devils sealed the treble with legendary double goals against Bayern Muenchen in injury time. As the reigning champion, MU too acts as “trend setter” and other clubs tried to emulate the success by copying the tactic they used. It was classic 4-4-2 formation with every players excel in their respective position in rigid fashion.

The defence comprised of commanding, giant yet agile goalkeeper (Schmeichel), 2 towering centerback (Stam and Berg), overlapping right back to provide cross (G. Neville), and conservative left back to balance the offensive right flank (Irwin). The midfield was even more classical. A combination of classical destroyer-creator which were very popular back then (Keane-Scholes), the crossing launchpod at right wing (Beckham), and electric mobility at left wing (Giggs). The pair of forwards was relatively the most unconventional but still upheld the rigid position-player philosophy. Usually the duet would encompass 2 different type of player consistes of supplier and finisher, but MU used 2 allrounders (Cole-Yorke). It seemed like the revolution in football tactic, but it was not. It is the same old method of supplier and finisher, but the difference was Cole and Yorke could switch their role at will. When Cole dropped deep or moved to flank, Yorke would run forward to anticipate the forward pass and vice versa. It went very well because it caused confusion among the opponents. This was the quality which any other teams could not replicate because they need allrounders with telepathic understanding and high football intelligence.

Then came Arsenal destroying such rigid pattern. The defence system is rather hard to modify, but the offence scheme is not.


There were not so much difference in goalkeeper and backline except the offensive flank of MU were on right while Arsenal were on left. But, the midfield and forward contrasted by some distance and it would change the football forever. The core of MU midfield were the creative fulcrum (Scholes) and attack breaker (Keane), but Arsenal used 2 anchors (Vieira – G. Silva). To be more precise, actually both of them didn’t play defensive midfielder role, they are anchors in central midfielder role. Back then, no team used central midfielder role to such extent like Arsenal did. The popular strategy is destroyer-creator combination. And, if any team used 2 allrounder midfield, it was because they lacked the quality to be offensive or defensive. Back then, central midfielder was the last resort, but Arsenal used it as primary tactic. Throughout their career, they always played as anchors, breaking every opponent’s attack before it reachs the backline. But, in Arsenal they did offensive task too. They used the principle of the pulley, when Vieira run forward, Silva would stay at back providing cover. When Silva positioned himself at the center of midfield, Vieira would position himself at Silva’s side. Six years later, the same concept was used by Bayern Muenchen when they advanced to UCL Final with Schweinsteiger and Van Bommel as the core. Different type of players but same concept. And funnily, the current MU also use the dual core before Scholes comeback. Now, the concept is modified a little. Teams do not always use dual central midfielder, but they could use 1 or even 3 central midfielders. The example were Busquet and trio Cambiasso-Motta-Zanetti.

The winger also didn’t follow the mainstream. I will explain what kind of revolution they brought later, at next point, but the concept of fluid positioning will be told now. Pires and Ljungberg didn’t tuck their position at their respective spot, but instead they roam around the pitch. They would swap position with other players like Vieira, Silva, Henry, or Bergkamp, but the primary pattern is Ljungberg and Pires would swap position with each other. And then, swapped wingers became a trend among football world. The example was Euro 2004, Portugal advanced to final with Figo and Ronaldo at both flanks swapped position numerous time. Now, the wingers don’t swap with each other simply because the current teams do not use traditional winger in midfield anymore. Instead, the width will be provide by 1 man in midfield and/or by the fullbacks. But the concept of fluid positioning still influences football until now. Now, you won’t see any player stays static on certain position.

 And the forward line was also completely different with the scheme used by any other teams. Usually, the finisher would stay high up the pitch in central position and his partner would drop deep. Another scenario was, the pair consisted of targetman and finisher. Both of them would stayed high up the pitch, waiting the long ball then launched the quick counter attack. Arsenal did neither. Both Henry and Bergkamp preferred to drop deep with the former stationed himself slightly higher, on the LEFT, not at central position. Also, Henry didn’t possess the requirement of EPL strikers. Back then, the striker was a battering ram. They had strong foot and possessed complete control of aerial battle. The best example is Shearer, then followed by Ian Wright, Hasselbaink etc. But not Henry. His shot wasn’t powerful instead it was artistic with his trademark curve. And despite his tall frame, heading is Henry’s weakest point. He loved to dribble, something the EPL forward would dream of (except Zola). In short, Henry was a completely different striker in England Premier League and he became one of the best strikers ever played in history of EPL.

3. Wide Midfielder

All 4 Arsenal midfielders brought something new to fooball scene. Vieira-Silva introduced central midfielder role and Pires-Ljungberg introduced wide midfielder. Their position was at both flank yet they were not wingers. Traditional winger is someone who works down the flank, bringing the ball to byline and cross them. The important parameters are speed, dribbling, and crossing. But neither Pires nor Ljungberg fulfilled the requirements.

Pires was central midfielder. He couldn’t skip past the defence like Giggs or Vicente did. He had good ball distribution, but it was passing, not crossing and they are completely different skill. And for Ljungberg, he had amazing speed, but the problem was he could not bring the ball in the same speed like he did without ball. And, his crossing was just so-so. So, what kinds of qualities did they possess ? It was the football intelligent and teamwork. Pires knew the correct timing to move, or to pass, or to swap with Ljungberg, or to form fatal triangle among Cole and Henry. And, when Henry didn’t start from left flank like he did, Pires would be there to be inverted winger like Henry did. No wonder Wenger branded him as the best left midfielder ever played for him.

If  Pires was not an ideal cut for winger, then Ljungberg was worse. His greates asset was his ninja-like off the ball movement, sneaking and surprising into defence line with his sudden presence. Frankly, if it is not because of Wenger and his system, Ljungberg would be unknown player. His passing, crossing, dribbling, and shooting were just standard. With his electric speed, one would recommend him to play at winger, but he lacks the dribbling and crossing skill. If he played as traditional winger, he would play at mid-table or lower team. But thanks to Wenger, he spotted Ljungberg’s exceptional game sense and turned him into one of the finest midfield.

Now, wide midfielder is the common tactic. Wenger still uses the tactic until now and he always puts his most creative player on the flank (Nasri and Rosicky for the example). Ranieri also used wide midfielder. He used his most creative players like Alvarez and Sneijer on the left flank. Wenger provided the extra option in football tactic. There is another place for the technically-gifted player and it is on the flank which was dominated by fast winger.

4. Extra Dimension In English Football

From the very first time football was invented, England was known for its physical football. It is all about stamina, speed, and power. It just made the common sense that “Kick and Rush” born from such football ethos. The defender and midfield task were to pass the long ball to forward. The ball would always fly in the air, much to be fought by forward and defender in aerial duel. The emergence of Gazza awoke England football that there was other kind of football to be played in England. Then came Scholes whose playmaking ability stunned the nation. But as much as they introduced the importance of playmaker in midfield, England team still always relied on high ball from the back and MU was not exception. They relied on Neville and Beckham high cross. What distinct MU from any other teams was, the high ball was very accurate and they didn’t rely solely on the long ball. They still had alternative route either from Giggs’ surging run or Scholes’ through pass. For The Invincibles’ case, they really didn’t rely on high ball at all. Both Cole and Lauren prefered the drilled low cross because they knew Henry and Bergkamp were not dangerous aerial threat. They only used high ball in set piece, when Campbell and Toure advanced forward.

Just like any other England team, Arsenal’s football relies on speed and so did The Invincibles. Thierry Henry will be the first name popping in our mind when we are talking about speed and Arsenal. And they still had other adept sprinters like Cole, Lauren, Ljungberg, Wiltord, and Bergkamp (to everyone’s surprise, Bergkamp was the 2nd fastest player in Arsenal under Henry). But what did distinguished The Invincibles from any other teams ? Other EPL clubs too had the players with tremendous speed. It was because Arsenal not only relied on player speed, but also ball speed. Since their game was relied on short pass, the ball circulated among them swiftly. Long pass shortens the time the ball required to travel from backline to opponent’s defence, but the ball itself moved slower than short pass. The slower the ball, the more time defender has to anticipate and disrupt the pass target.

Player speed is important, ball speed is important too, but speed is useless without accuracy. Another problem with long ball is, because the passer and the target are separated by far distance, it is harder to place the ball onto exact position. Unless you have great long passers like Beckham or Veron, the passer would misplace the ball by several meters, much to the risk of being intercepted by the defenders. By playing the short pass, Arsenal reduced the risk of being robbed. And of course they had longer ball possession. With longer ball possession, the opponents had shorter time to attack. If you have the ball, enemy can’t score. That’s the philosophy.

The passing game now becomes the main pattern of England football teams. Except Stoke, Liverpool (when Suarez is unavailable and Carroll becomes the spearhead), and other minority teams, most of the teams in England already emphazises on short passing game although they can’t do it as fine as other continental teams. City has D. Silva to control the pass flow, Scholes must return from his retirement because MU desperately need passer, Arsenal bought Arteta to help them retent the ball, Hotspur have Modric, and Chelsea have Mata. Every Big 5 team has the playmaker and it tells us how important the passing game is. As if the fact implies to be the top team nowadays, you must be able to perform short passing game. Something that England wouldn’t think of 30-40 years ago (although in 1953 Hungary had already taught passing game to England in historic match which ended in 6-3 for Magic Magyar’s victory).


Captain Fourever

In his younger days, he had everything it takes to become accomplished full back. Electric speed, strong and balance body despite of his slender frame, and enormous lung capasity to keep running for 90 minutes or even 120 minutes. Knowing such characteristic, you would imagine the bullish fullback that relishes the slugfest with attackers. But those are wrong. He always aim for clean challenges and when he must do sliding tackle, he does it cleanly too. Ask any player who chased the 50-50 ball thrown at them. They weren’t lost because of dirty trick or nasty tackle. They lost to 175 cm player whose running was enough to fend off much heavier players then robbing the ball from them. Statistic proves that until now he has only received 2 red cards. And his offence ability was something any attackers jealous of. His running stroke the fear into any defence even once he skipped the challenge of Baresi and Maldini duet. Time flies, years goes by, he doesn’t have those pace anymore, but he compensates the lost with versatility. Throughout his career, he has played all the position from back to midfield. While centerback isn’t his habitat, he does the rest of the roles with excellence. And don’t forget his famous consistency. He is so consistent for 90 minutes and for another 90 minutes and another even you would hear “he never has a bad game”

By now you must already know who is the player. Yes he is Javier Adelmar Zanetti, leader of Argentina and the captain of Internazionale Milan legion. Husband of  Paula, father of Sol. He is a great player, a very great player, but sadly only the few name him in the same breath like Maldini, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Jorginho, Brehme etc. Why is he so underrated and underestimated ? This is because of his lack of trophies and achievement in his football career and it is because all the misfortunes and mistakes he has in his life.

National Team Disaster

He was born on 10 August 1973 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first misfortune began. Zanetti was just 20 years old when the senior Argentine team grabbed their last trophy (Copa America) and he was still unknown youngster. By the time Zanetti goes to Europe and began to build his reputation as top fullback, the national team began to crumble after Bilardo stepped down  He didn’t participate in World Cup 1994, but 4 years later he got himself his World Cup debut. But, the mess has begun even when the tournament hadn’t begun. Coach Passarella omitted on-form Redondo for a mere long hair reason and they fell to Netherland hand in quarter final. Four years later, different man was in charge of Argentina yet he did worse mistake. It was Zanetti himself who was omitted from national team for the sake of relative unknown and absolutely worse player in form of Scaloni. Four years gone by, he made it to the national team only to lose against Germany in penalty shoot out. Had led the scoreline by 1-0 until minute 60, Pekerman decided to substitute 19 years old Messi and it proved to be the blooper. Messi’s running with the ball terrified static Germany defence all day long but eventually he was replaced with event more static figure of Julio Ricardo Cruz. Thus, Argentina lost their cutting edge, unable to launch quick counter attack on desperate Germany, succumbed a goal to Podolski, and ultimately wiped out from the tournament. Gone by another 4 years and Zanetti received another ridiculous reject. After captaining Inter Milan to legendary treble, it seemed Zanetti will fill the primary role of right back. In Inter Milan, Zanetti formed an airtight defence system with Cambiasso and Samuel and the rest. And, it seems they will bring the stability to their national team after long spell of disastrous defence. But surprisingly ridiculously outrageously stupidly the current coach Maradona omitted him and put Jonas as a right back and pointed Ariel Garce as the sub.

Another Disaster At Club Level

One can’t choose his where and when he was born, but he could choose the best option for his life. Zanetti didn’t. At age of 22, the unknown Zanetti decided to move to Inter Milan in 1995 who had just elected their new president Massimo Moratti. Back then, Inter had never won scudetto since 1989 and never won Champions League for  39 years. With the new president, it ought to be a very turbulent and unstable era. The decision seemed terrible indeed when 3 years later after the arrival he saw Juventus robbed the Scudetto from Inter in scandalous manner. The only success was Inter won UEFA Cup, still a far cry compared to Maldini who won Champion Cup in 1992 and 1993 or Del Piero in 1995.

And here is the biggest blooper one couldn’t imagine. In 2002, Inter was amidst the gloomy dark age. Winning was miracle, draw was a blessing, and lost was common. And then came an offer from ambitous Real Madrid which were building the Los Galacticos. He would be the main right back, he would won trophy that any footballer longs for. He would play under renown Vicente Del Bosque, didn’t have to listen to the like of Tardelli, Lucescu, and any mediocre coach. He didn’t have to sprint through 2 or 3 defenders to no avail because his effort would be paid off with Raul and Morientes as finisher. He would receive deft through ball from Zidane and Figo. And, with wonderkid Casilass and classy Hierro-Helguera at the heart of defence, he didn’t have to see his team concedes stupid goal like he did in  Inter. He would got all such luxuries with nothing but a nod, a yes, and a signature on Real Madrid contract paper. But what happened was he turned it down. A laughable decision, isn’t it ? Yes it is for any football pundits, but not for Interisti. They were ready to see their favourite player left them for good, but what the Madrid reject was too good to be true. No demonstration required, no need of showing the jersey on the window, Il Tractore chose to stay in bad time without good time with Inter.

Madrid predictably took the glory, won Primera Liga and Champions League while hundreds kilometres away in Milan the Nerazurri lamented over the lost of should-be-won Scudetto. A draw over Lazio would take Inter to be a champion of Italy and even Laziale supported Inter over their club because they don’t want to see 2-point-trailing Roma took the chance of Inter slip up (hatre over love, it happened again 7 years later). And Roma really did.  Inter lost 4-2, Juventus won the match and thus won the miraculous Scudetto and Roma also won dumping Inter to the 3rd place. By then Zanetti already suffered the Scudetto lost twice although it seemed he already had one hand holding it. And his decision to stay on the mud pool of Inter instead of great palace of Madrid really seemed the worst decision he had ever made.

Light At The End Of Tunnel

Two years later he got what he deserved. A Scudetto which were handovered from Juventus because of notorious Calciopoli. Although it is a bit unsatisfying, at least he had a long dreamt Scudetto. A year later finally he felt the being the champion after battling on the field for a year. Still, the victory is less satisfying if your rivals aren’t at their best, isn’t it ? That’s what happened when Zanetti won another Scudetto while Juve was grounded to Serie-B and Milan’s point was reduced from the very start of competition.

It was 15 years after the start of his career in Inter Milan that he received his greatest reward for being loyal and consistent. He was the captain of the first team in Italy who won Scudetto, Coppa Italia, and Champions League in a season. A glorious treble. What a deserved success for player who kept fighting for 15 years with terrible teammates, terrible coaches, and terrible management. Of the 3 trophies, the Big-Ear was what delighting him the most. It is the most sought trophy in Europe club competition and Zanetti never won it even once. And the moment he won it, he was the leader of the team who never won the competition for 45 years. They defeated England double champion Chelsea, Germany double champion Bayern Muenchen, and Spain double champion Barcelona which were considered the best team in history. But Zanetti led Inter paved their way through them, tinting the golden ink in club history and brought the joy to Interisti around the world.

Grazie Javier Zanetti ! Salute !

It is astonishing and remarkable how a great player could such unachieving career. The suffering, misery, disappointment, and frustration are unimaginable. Every match he always gives his best but the team always let him down. He always stands out among his team whenever all of them play horribly bad. But amazingly, he is always stay composed and never berating his teammate however bad they are. The easiest solution is the escape to better team. There is nothing shameful with it especially for player with Zanetti calibre. Batistuta moved to Roma to get Scudetto, Kaka moved to Madrid, Fabreagas moved to Barcelona and so on. But Zanetti could resist the temptation. The chance he got was from the currently greatest club in the world Real Madrid yet he declined for the sake of love and loyalty. They are rarely found escpecially in such materialistic and individual world. But the sacrifices has been all paid off. He has won almost everything in club level. He only missed European Super Cup, but he won Scudetto, Coppa Italia, European Champion League, Super Italia, and Club World Cup. But the biggest victory he has achieved is not his trophy, it is the heart of everyone. Throughout his career, he has won everyone’s respect and his rivals is not exception. Zanetti is the adversary of every Inter’s opponent, but he is not enemy. His skill, mental, conduct, and character should be exampled by the players of next generation. We don’t know when he will retire as he still is the best player of the disastrous season. But by the time Zanetti retires, it will be time when football losts one of the greatest figure in history. Grazie Zanetti !

Dear readers, with your current income, how many years does it take to earn €114,000 ? Does it take 10 or 25 or 50 years ? If you answer 1 day, you must be Cristiano Ronaldo because it is the amount of money he gets DAILY. I bet everyone already knows about how big is the footballer income and moans how it unfair is the life. You maintain the order, defence the motherland, save people by risking yours, developing technology for better future etc, but your income is nowhere near the someone whose job is running and kicking the ball. At first thought, you condemn and complain how the system of life sucks so much. But, lets give it a second thought by assessing if they really worth the money.

They Are Really Overpaid

Lets take a vote, does the footballers really deserve it ? See, the majority says not so I will begin reasoning why they really should get pay cut.

Importance In Life

Imagine the world without football and football itself never existed even from the very fist place. Well no problem, there are still a lot of fun in the world. But how if there are no polices, firefighters, researchers, engineer, or doctor ? Misery, misery, and misery.. We can survive if there is no football game for a day, a year, or even forever. But, some will not last even a hour if all the doctors in the world commence a strike simultaneously. That explains how insignificant the profession of footballer relative to other jobs.

Yes, money is not everything. There are a lot of people with noble heart who works not for money. But come on, you would question about justice when a soldier ,who protect your country with his life, can’t afford his €10,000 child’s cure while in same time Rooney earns €100,000 for the goals he score –which does not affect human life at all-. The common sense is, the more important you are, the more appreciation you should have. The appreciation is not all about money, but you wonder how many times we say thank you to close and small unnoticed service like the janitor. In contrary, we hail Maradona as if he is a God although we don’t know him and vice versa. We hail Pele for his 1,000 goals although without them the world is still the same. Nonsense, isn’t it ?


Sport teaches us about sportmanship and fair play, that is what we used to hear back then. Today, the line is completely irrelevant because there is no single match without cheating. Diving, violent tackle, racial slur, undiscipline, those were some viruses which plague football today and sadly they are only a tip of icebergs. The worse is, they still get paid for all the nasty conduct they did and shows the terrible example for all the kids who idolize them. And the worst of all, they are paid using your money. So indirectly, all the money you spent for ticket, merchandise, and television will be the present for all nasty deeds they have done. Or

Bad Attitude Off the Field

The terrible conduct on the pitch is bad, but terrible conduct off the pitch is worse. A public figure should be the good example for people around him, let alone their fans. Just count how many cheating and sexual scandal which involves footballer. We don’t want our kids to follow John Terry’s lead in cheating, do we ? And should we see the lads goint involves in night life party like Adriano and Ronaldinho just because they are the idol ? There are still many unexemplary deed such as shoplifting, street brawl, or even drug abuse. Once again I must stress how great the influence of the idol could affect their admirer. The admirer could follow the footstep to destruction without even knowing it. Such bad-manner player really do not deserve such big sum of money.

Grey Area

That’s all about why the footballers are not deserved for their big money. Now we are entering the grey area where the opinion is still vague and arguable.

Poor Background

As long as I remember, I only can recall 4 footballers names whose family aren’t poor. They are Kaka, Pirlo, Del Piero and Vialli. Most of the rest come from poor family especially those who come from South America and Africa. For them, sport is their only way to escape from poverty lasso which binds their countries tightly. Frequently, such background makes an easy excuse to grant them the big payment and freedom to have the life they have never experienced without knowing it is the most enjoyable path to destruction. Lets take Ronaldinho as example. Just when he reached his peak in career, he began to be disoriented. The bright spotlight, money, admiration, luxury, and elite life was beyond his childhood imagination. Then the downfall began. He was tempted to attend flickering night life, spending money without worry of starving at next day, and other luxuries he couldn’t afford back then in Brazil. And why was he tempted to do so ? Because he had money. The money pours into his account like torrential rain, an amount which he has never seen before. Well it tells us, however bad is the background, however pitiful is the past experience, overpaid salary is not an excuse to allow footballer earns such big money.

Short Career

If we talk about the invidual with big revenue, the field which pops out of our mind is athlete and entertainment. Movie star and singer earn more money than any athlete in the world but that is where the logic is distorted once again. The celebrity could still earn money through advanced years while the case isn’t the same for athlete. Al Pacino is currently one of the senior actor and he still could live himself from film industry for 40 years since his debut in tender age. Paul McCartney can still sing and compose the song although he is 70 years old now. How about athlete, in this case footballer ? The option is very limited. After entering 30 years old phase, they must already think about the job in next 3 years because it is most likely the club won’t use his service anymore. But the choices is very limited. Usually, after their retirement, they choose the career as football analyis, commentator, or any football staff role. There are a lot of topics that could be drawn from here, but I will focus on financial aspect for now. The entertainer could still get the same payment like they did 20 years ago, but the salary for coach, commentator etc is smaller by great distance compare to active player.

So, if the entertainers get such big money then footballers also deserve it too even they deserve it more because of career time limitation. No, it is the big no. Admitted, we live in unfair world but it doesn’t mean everything must be unjust. Remember the first point I mentioned in this article. Even the footballer getting such big money is very unfair so they must accept the short career cruelty. Honestly, all the money they get during their career is enough for their rest of lifes if they spend it wisely. And, they already know their playing time is very short from the very first time they choose footballer as occupation. The question is, have they anticipated the retirement day ? Have they invest their money for future instead of buying newest Lamborghini annually ? Have they think the job they would take 10 years ahead instead of thinking which party they would attend ?. I would say the short career that footballer has is not an excuse to earn such big revenue because they have already seen it coming and they should prepare for it from the very start of career.

What ? They Deserve It ?

It seems footballers really do not deserve those chunk of money. But, how if they really do ? How if they really worth those big salary ? There are the reason for it and here are they.

Bet of Life

When a kid chooses football as his career, he is betting his life on it and the gamble is extremely high risk. This is something any educated people would never experience. For those lucky souls who have good education, he could work in any job regardless of their education background. If you are enginerring student and you realize the job doesn’t suit you, you can still work at different field of job in any company, being a businessman or being an entrepreneur etc and still achieve success, at least you can earn money to feed you and family. But that is the luxury which footballer never have. A lot of kids choose football in expense of their education. And just how many of them could make it to professional level ? For those footballers who can live themselves, congratulation. No matter how small is your team and your league, you must consider yourselves lucky if you can still live from football because there  are millions unfortunate footballers who barely live with football. The elite football player receives a very spotlight, but remember, brighter light means darker shadow. Behind the glamorous light of famous football star, there are many players at the bottom of pyramid desperately reach greater height, let alone the summit where the likes of Messi and Ronaldo belong.

This is why the job is very extremely risky. Talent alone is not enough to guarantee you could break through to be professional player. If somehow you are injured, your career is done. If you once do something stupid even if it is in unconsious manner, your career might be over. High talent but always have bad coaches throughout career, you won’t advance any further. You have better talent then Messi Maradona but being overlooked by coach and scout ? Career is done again. Those are only a mere few examples and there are still a lot of stumbling block along the path as a professional player. Imagine the life of failed footballer. They already left school from very young age and they don’t have any other skill except football. So, in order to live, they must do anything to continue their life, including being a criminal. Just imagine how miserable is life if you must live without skill and there is no future certainty. This is the main reason why footballer deserves such high pay.

Community Support

The logic is simple. If the community does willingly pay big amount of money for football, why does football refuse it ? The best example is Arsenal. Since moving to their new stadium, Arsenal has never won any single trophy. And since their move too, Arsenal has been selling the most expensive seasonal ticket in the world. Funny. The fans still insist buying seasonal ticket, merchandise, TV programme, only to watch their beloved team has no ambition whatsoever to satisty them. The same goes to the rest of fans and their clubs. The supply exists because of demand and vice versa. Footballers earn the money they get from their fans. If the community doesn’t support football anymore, of course the footballers will have their salary cut. But for now, the community still willingly handing their money for football so, why should the footballers refuse the money ? They are at the most adventegeous side and if the condition goes unchange, they remain will.


Now, which side are you at ? The big salary for footballer, deserve or not deserve ? If I were asked and I must answer it, it is the close call and I would answer they deserve it. Partly, I don’t agree the footballers get such high salary and I really support. Their revenue is growing annually yet their professionalism is dwindling. But, if somehow the footballers have their salary cut, imagine the effect on non-elite player. Even now, there are many player who barely survive with salary from football.

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Feeling up the senses like a night in Giuseppe Meazza


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